Professor and students collaborate: “20’s Something” exhibit showcases millennial expression

Lauren Boone, Editor-in-Chief

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The Samek Art Gallery on Market Street is hosting a new exhibit titled “20’s Something,” featuring collaborative installation and video art by Associate Professor of Art Tulu Bayar. The works examine the transitional changes that a members of the millennial generation experience during their twenties.

The installation consists of 12 individual photographs printed with archival pigment print on silk. The individual, semi-collaborative works are titled by the name of the student seen in the photograph.

“I wanted to share the responsibility with my subjects on the scene,” Bayar said. “[The students] were free to express themselves,” Bayar said.

Bayar announced the opportunity for project collaboration to her students, and those who volunteered were able to participate in the project.

Each student had the freedom to select the objects with which to pose in his or her photograph. The students gravitated toward objects that represented their extracurricular interests. Objects included range from paintbrushes to pieces of colored fabric to rolls of film to athletic equipment to printed photographs, and more. The students were also given the freedom to choose their outfits and poses for the shoot.

Each of the final photographs required taking multiple shots. Bayar chose silk to use as the medium for specific reasons—the material is fragile, lightweight, easily stained, and requires a lot of care. The qualities of the fabric represent the members of the millennial generation portrayed in the photographs.

The video artwork was collaborative as well. Ashley Freeby ’15, Alexander Massey ’14, Alec Rogers ’17, and Stephanie Knauss, a photography graduate assistant, worked with Bayar to create Red Chair, 2014. The video depicts each of the artists who directed, acted in, and edited the work during every stage of the project. For this reason, Bayar calls this work a “true collaboration.” The students in her video course each chose words that were important to them to explore in the project, including “infamy,” “rude,” “ignorance,” and “coward.” The footage itself was completely improvisational and was taken in one shot. The five-minute continuous loop consists of a total of five layers of video.

As viewers walk through the installation, the individual silk prints move with them. The sound of the video draws the audience in as well.

“I intend to communicate in more than one sense—be it by sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell. That’s why the project is very powerful,” Bayar said.

The exhibit has a strong local presence, but Bayar also hopes to expand. Every part of the installation and project was made in Lewisburg. The silk screen printing and video shooting and editing were done in the Art Building and Art Barn.

“We have very cutting-edge [resources] here on campus,” Bayar said.

Because the project has strong local roots, Bayar wanted the exhibition first to display here in Lewisburg. She hopes to expand her reach in the future. Bayar hopes the exhibit will travel to nearby cities and towns first, such as Williamsport and Bloomsburg, followed by an expansion to adjacent states like New Jersey and New York. With a physical expansion, Bayar believes the project itself might also expand. Perhaps the students will select different objects to pose with.

“I’m very happy that I did this. This is a good start to an ongoing project,” Bayar said.

The video can be seen inside the gallery during regular operating hours as well as through the gallery’s front window at night from 7 p.m. to midnight. Both the video and installation aspects of the exhibit will be in the gallery until Nov9.

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